Rick Becker | June 8, 2018
Finals were a wrap, the semester concluded, and the campus emptied out — all but the seniors, that is. For a short stretch in May, our son, Benedict, and his graduating class had the Notre Dame ecosystem to themselves. “Senior Week,” they call it, though that name only highlights its limitations. As thousands of seniors (most recently, our son) have found out, a mere week is sorely inadequate when it comes to saying last goodbyes and ruminating on four years of Irish living.
Ben has been an Alumni Hall Dawg for his entire ND career. Unlike some of his buddies, he decided to stay ensconced in his adopted home even into his senior year. Sentimentality? Convenience and economy? I imagine some combination of these. Regardless, we were pleased with his choice, because it made keeping in touch with him all the easier.
We’re townies, you see, and a mere 20-minute drive separates our southside home from Main Circle, the circle drive and campus meeting point that lies in front of Alumni. Over these past years, it wasn’t uncommon for Ben to call with a domestic request of one kind or another — the kind of thing that would’ve been tough for Domer parents in Texas, say, or Tallahassee. “Can you bring up my dark suit?” he’d ask, in anticipation of some banquet or dorm dance. “Of course,” I’d say if I was the lucky one to get the call. “See you in the circle in a bit.”
Zoom, I’d scurry up Miami Street, jog over to Eddy, and then jog again to Notre Dame Avenue. I make a beeline for the Golden Dome — always inspiring, always gloriously framed by trees and sky — and make my way around the statue of Our Lady to the Alumni curbside. More often than not, Ben wouldn’t be down yet and I’d have to give him a jingle on his cell. But the wait was welcome: a chance for this parental interloper to soak up a bit more Notre Dame atmosphere and mystique.
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